Westmoreland County assistance programs.

Low income families, the disabled, seniors, and immigrants can get financial help from churches, charities, or the Westmoreland County government assistance office. The agencies in can help with rent or security deposit payments or assist with a mortgage. Or find where to apply for free grants to pay electric or utility bills, low cost loans, or free back to school supplies or food from pantries.

That form of financial aid in the Greensburg region is often combined with free credit and debt counseling, home buying services, Christmas help for kids, and even low cost or free medical care. There are also resources for the elderly and disabled in the region. The goal of the Westmoreland County agencies (whether charities or the government) is to provide emergency assistance while at the same time solving the underlying financial crisis.

Locate referrals to help with bills and other resources

Several non-profits and charities are listed below, including the Westmoreland County InfoLine referral service. The free non-profit gives referrals to a variety of programs that will help families and individuals that need short term support, housing, education, or social services. They provide short term relief with the goal of helping families improve their standard of living and become more self-sufficient over the long term. Some of the programs they offer are below. Contact them to learn more about these programs, how to apply, and they also offer additional aid.

  • Mortgage assistance program - Residents of Westmoreland County can get money to help make their mortgage payments from the non-profits that are part of the InfoLine service. The program is for individuals who reside in Westmoreland County who have experienced an unfortunate turn of events, such as a job loss, medical emergency, or another crisis, and are temporarily unable to make their monthly mortgage payment. These families and individuals would receive short term funds to help make their mortgage payment without the burden of being obligated to repay the funds. It is important to note that the assistance provided is short term. Learn more on mortgage programs.

 

 

 

 

  • Food aid - For this who are experiencing financial hardship, Westmoreland County InfoLine partners operate an Emergency Food Pantry. There are several in the region. The pantry will provide free food and groceries to a family or individual in a time of crisis. In addition to them distributing food themselves, referrals can also be made to similar services found in other communities and towns throughout Westmoreland County.
     
  • Energy and heating bill assistance - This program provides emergency assistance to families and individuals in the county and Pittsburgh who may be having difficulty paying their energy and/or heating bills. WHO completes application and the person’s behalf and will connect those applicants to the appropriate energy assistance programs such as the Allegheny Power's LIPURP Program or the $1 Energy Program. More information Pennsylvania utility assistance.
     
  • Infoline - This is part of - similar to the United Way. The non-profit will give free information to callers, regardless of their need, age, race, or ethnicity. Whether financial aid, food, a job, elderly care, or anything, help is offered. More on free United Way financial assistance programs.
     
  • Job and employment services - Supported Engagement is a program that helps adults find jobs, resolve barriers, transition to education programs and locate employment. Supported Engagement is a program that runs for up to eighteen months in length with intensive case management, supportive services, including transportation assistance for program activities, and other incentives.

The InfoLine is a referral service only. Callers can get free information. More on financial aid from Westmoreland County InfoLine.

 

 

 

 

Help for rent and energy bills

Westmoreland County officials have launched the federal government funded Homelessness Prevention and Housing Initiative. This program helps struggling people pay rent, utility bills, security deposits, and other expenses. It focuses on residents who face losing their home, who may be ejected from their rental property or apartment, or who are in danger of having their heat or electricity service turned off.  It is also part of the HUD section 8 housing authority.

Clients of the program will receive financial help for their housing expenses for up to 18 months after an initial consultation with a case manager. They may also be able to receive short-term help with rental payment assistance, grants for paying utility bills and rent security deposits, money for overdue utility bills and hotel vouchers if they need a place to stay.

The county government distributed the grants and money to multiple local nonprofit agencies, including the Westmoreland County Housing Authority (724) 832-7248, the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc., and also the Westmoreland Community Action. The housing authority was provided funds provide rent assistance to its clients and to also assist local residents in shelters move into affordable apartments. Or learn more details on Pennsylvania section 8 housing requirements.

In addition, The Private Industry Council as well as the Westmoreland Community Action are often able to help needy residents in making rent payments, paying utility and heating bills. There may also be funds for security deposits. Additional ways to get help with paying utility, heating, and gas bills may be able to be provided by Allegheny Power CARES Program 1.800.207.1250, Dollar Energy Fund 724.431.2800, Dominion Peoples Natural Gas CARES Program 1.800.400.9276, Energy Assistance Screening Agency 724.834.1260, or the government funded LIHEAP 1.866.857.7095.

Free credit counseling, debt help, and foreclosure counseling

Talk to a credit or housing counselor from Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Western Pennsylvania. This non-profit organization offers free, confidential credit counseling, foreclosure assistance, and debt management plans. 1-888-511-2277. Click here to learn more about should someone use debt management and settlement programs, as well as the pros or cons of them.

 

 

 

There are other non-profit credit counseling agencies to turn to for help in the county and state. They may offer free in-person advice, consultations over the phone, or online chats. Everything from help building credit to paying auto loans to credit card assistance and more is offered. Continue with free credit counseling in Pennsylvania.

Emergency assistance programs

Catholic Charities, which can be reached at 1-866-409-6455 provides low income and other qualified individuals with free food, utility or heating bill aid. There may also be homeless shelters and even the occasional housing help. Several churches and other organizations in the Greensburg Pennsylvania area and surrounding communities partner with Catholic Charities as well.

Other programs that may be available to low income families and seniors include information on local shelters and transitional housing units. They also help immigrants and single moms. Homeless prevention funds and grants may be paid out to prevent an eviction as well. Or call them for referrals. Continue with Westmoreland Catholic Charities assistance.

The Westmoreland area also has a branch of the Salvation Army - Western Pennsylvania Division. This agency also provides emergency assistance, food and and free housing products like furniture. There is also clothing, rent assistance, back to school supply programs and financial assistance for utility bills.

This may be the leading non-profit organization in the region. Thousands of families and seniors receive counseling, advice, or direct financial assistance from the Salvation Army. Some of the other programs they administer provide food, holiday meals, or Christmas assistance in the form of free toys or gift cards. Or call them for information on heating bill and housing assistance. Call 412-394-3580, or read more Salvation Army Westmoreland County.

The Westmoreland County Food Bank (1800-462-2080) is an organization that provides free food and groceries to almost 20,000 people per month. Pantries are located throughout Greensburg and Westmoreland County.

Westmoreland County Department of Public Welfare (DPW) runs the federal and state benefit grant programs. This is part of the local government assistance office or social services. There are several, and low income families can apply for SNAP food stamps, disability, and more. Even learn what to do if SNAP food stamp benefits were cut.

One DPW service under high demand is the ESA - Emergency Shelter Allowance. This deals with housing issues, whether it is for back rent or unpaid utility bills. The county can offer loans or other funds to stop an eviction or to pay the security deposit on new home. Transitional housing is also arranged.

  • 587 Sells Lane, Greensburg, PA 15601, dial 800-905-5413
  • 800-392-6932 595 Galiffa Drive, Donora, PA, 15033-0592

 

 

 

 

Referral crisis line - Non-profit organizations and charities in the area participate in this service. Various groups can offer a number of services, if the applicant is qualified and meets a number of conditions.

  • Emergency money for living expenses ranging from heating costs to rent.
  • Applications to public such, such as LIHEAP or Section 8 vouchers.
  • Job placement and educational support is coordinated by the crisis service.

Much more is offered too. For details, more Westmoreland County crisis line.

Solutions for paying rent are provided by several agencies. Both charities and the county offer assistance. Most of the government aid is part of ESA, which can provide financial aid for paying back rent or money for a security deposit on a new home or apartment in Westmoreland County. However, other charities (such as churches or non-profits) may also offer assistance for rent, eviction counseling, and other housing solutions. Learn more.

Urban League may offer referrals and some emergency assistance to residents of the county. Some of the solutions are for housing needs, such as eviction prevention and foreclosure counseling. They also tend to have information on job training, GED training and employment services. Applications may also be on site for government programs such as SNAP food stamps or LIHEAP heating bill assistance. Click details on Pittsburgh area Urban League.

Greensburg and regional free clothing or furniture banks have either free or low cost items. Some centers or programs are seasonal, while some such as work clothes operate year round. There may also be limited free winter coats, Christmas programs, or there are also agencies in Westmoreland County that focus on helping during back to school season. Or find a free furniture bank as well as school items for students. Continue reading free Westmoreland County clothes, school supplies and furniture.

Health care and community clinics in Westmoreland County

These centers may be able to offer residents of Greensburg and the greater Westmoreland community access to free or low cost health care and medications. Get everything from immunizations to free healthcare for adults as well as children. Medical bills may be charged to patients on a sliding fee scale.

  • Community Health Clinic, Inc. 724.335.3334
  • Community HomeHealth Care 724.837.7730
  • Wesley Health Center, Inc. 724.626.2610
  • Excela Home Health and Hospice 724.832.4155
  • Excela Health - Latrobe Area Hospital - Prenatal Services 724.537.1002
  • Tri-City Life Center, Inc. 724.339.9399

The clinics above offer free or low cost care. They also accept Medicail or private health insurance policies from Westmoreland County residents. Or residents as well as the low income can find other free health insurance policies in Pennsylvania.

Free food and groceries

There are several charities as well as a regional food bank that provide help to struggling and lower income families. The goal of each of these agencies is to prevent hunger in the community and provide basic needs. So to this end they offer emergency boxes of food, free holiday meals and presents, groceries, and even a Meals on Wheels service.

  • Mother of Sorrows food pantry is in Murrysville.
  • The Salvation Army has multiple thrift stores and centers, including in  Greensburg.
  • A free food bank and soup kitchen is at Howard International Ministries in New Kensington.

In addition to those sites, dozens of other distribution centers are in the community. More Westmoreland County free food pantries.

 

 

 

 

Employment services and help finding a job

With many people looking for a job, or trying to acquire new skills and increase their income. The demand for free employment services is great. These organizations may be able to help. Or learn about other ways to make money, including selling stuff on Amazon/

  • Armstrong County CareerLink  724.548.5693
  • Career Track of Armstrong Co. - Kittanning  724.763.1999
  • Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center  724.925.3532
  • Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center  724.925.3532
  • Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center  724.539.9788
  • PA CareerLink, Alle-Kiski  724.334.8600
  • PA CareerLink, Westmoreland County  724.755.2330
  • Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc.  724.836.2600
  • Westmoreland County Community College  724.925.4000

 

By Jon McNamara

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